UPDATE

Due to the mandated state of emergency, Arizona Oncology Foundation needed to close our Resource Centers, but we are still here to help!


We are still offering the following services:


Gas cards/transportation services to treatments

Lodging

Food cards

House cleaning services(where available)


Please fill out the patient application form to request these services.

We are currently providing Living with Cancer, Breast Cancer, Gynecological Cancer, and Lung Cancer virtual support groups via Zoom. We will be adding a “Coping with COVID and Quarantine” support group for cancer patients and caregivers next month. If you are interested in joining any of these support groups or if you have any general questions, please call 520-471-9067

You may also call: 520-471-9067 if you have any questions.

We are still here for you!

Official COVID-19 Response from the President of Arizona Oncology Foundation

Chemotherapy Side Effects

TLDR: Chemotherapy comes with many side effects that may effect your everyday life. It’s important to take extra good care of yourself during this time to reduce the side effects and improve your ability to recover quickly.

Cancer is a disease that causes abnormalities to form in the cells of the body. There are several different types of cancers out there all of which impact the body in different ways. Cancer is known to have a high fatality rate associated with it even though there are plenty of treatment options available. One of the most widely-used treatment options employed in the battle to cure cancer is chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is a specialized treatment that uses a combination of anti-cancer drugs which are administered according to a specific schedule. Chemotherapy is commonly given to cancer patients in three different capacities which are either as a curative approach, to sustain the life of patients, or to reduce symptoms associated with cancer. 

While chemotherapy is widely used and probably the most common treatment for cancer out there, there are some side effects in chemotherapy which can have a huge impact on your overall health long-term. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, understanding chemotherapy side effects are very important.

Below, we’re going to take a detailed look at all of the most common side effects that people experience after going through chemotherapy.

Side effects of chemotherapy 

Chemotherapy side effects come in a wide range of different ailments. Take a look below to see some of the most common side effects in chemotherapy that people experience after completing a successful treatment. 

Common Chemotherapy side effects include:

  • Constipation 
  • Hair Loss 
  • Fatigue 
  • Infection 
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea 
  • Amnesia 
  • Sudden weight changes 
  • Mood changes 

Depending on what chemotherapy medication your doctor prescribes you, all of these side effects can be brought on or none at all. Your body type and resistance to the medication will also play a huge factor in determining which of these specific side effects you experience after completing chemotherapy.

However, because the drugs using during chemotherapy treatment travel throughout the entire body, they have a high likelihood of affecting your normal organs also. There are a few classes of cells that are impacted by chemotherapy at a much greater rate than others. These cells include: Hair Follicles, digestive tract cells, reproductive systems, and blood-forming cells located in the bone marrow. 

Everyone doesn’t experience chemotherapy side effects long term which is great news if you are having to deal with the treatment currently. If you are someone who is experiencing the side effects of chemotherapy you should be comforted to know that the severity of symptoms varies from person to person. 

If you do experience these side effects after getting chemotherapy successfully done, it should be noted that they can last anywhere from a couple of weeks, to months, or even years in some instances. It’s always best to consult with your doctor about after-care so that you will be able to ensure you’re taking all of the necessary steps to cure the side effects of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy has a high chance of causing permanent damage to your body in certain areas such as the kidneys and heart. In these instances, the side effects of chemotherapy can last a lifetime which is why many people choose to go an alternative treatment route when diagnosed with cancer. 

Dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy 

While undergoing your chemotherapy treatments, it is especially important that you take care of yourself to reduce the side effects and help you get through this challenging time. 

Some ways to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy include:

  • Rest or take naps during the days
  • Eat small healthy foods
  • Exercise, like a walk, may boost your energy
  • Keep your brain active
  • Use a planner to avoid forgetting important events and tasks
  • Keep your stress level in check – try deep breathing and meditation if needed
  • If necessary, ask your doctor for a prescription to fight side effects like nausea 

It was thought at one point that taking multi-vitamin supplements may actually help with reducing the impact of chemotherapy side effects however recent studies show that this is far from the truth. If you are thinking about taking vitamins as a way to help you get over your chemotherapy side effects, you should always consult with your doctor before doing so.

There are some side effects that warrant you to contact your doctor in order to receive immediate assistance including:

  • intense chills
  • a rash
  • allergic reaction
  • bleeding
  • pain at the chemo injection site

Some chemotherapy side effects are very noticeable while others are not that easy to detect. 

If you find yourself becoming depressed because of dealing with your chemotherapy side effects, you should contact your physician team to see if they can match you with a support group that can help you. We’ve covered all of the most important information that you need to know about chemotherapy and the most common side effects you will experience when undergoing it. 

As long as you follow all of the tips and resources that we’ve given you in this write-up, you will be able to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy like a true champion. Start living a healthier life today learning how to live with the side effects of chemotherapy. 

While chemotherapy is one of the primary treatment methods used to cure cancer, it is not the only one available. Some other common cancer treatments include: hormone therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. Chemotherapy works by targeting the fast-growing cancer cells that are produced by the disease. 

Final Thoughts on Chemotherapy Side Effects

 

People Also Ask

How can I boost my immune system during chemo?

You can boost your immune system during chemo by taking good care of yourself each and every day. Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Get your flu shot every year
  • Stay rested by enough rest every night
  • Limit being around people who are sick 
  • Eat a nutritious diet to give your body important nutrients
  • Report signs of sickness or infection to your doctor immediately
  • Ask your care team about protective drugs that will help by boosting your immune system

How long do you experience negative side effects after chemo?

When it comes to how long you will experience negative side effects after chemo, the reality is that results will vary. Depending on the treatment you have worked out with your care team, your health, and a variety of other factors. Many patients going through chemo feel the first effects of acute nausea and vomiting a few minutes to a few hours after your chemotherapy treatment while others feel it more than 24 hours later. 

Cancer Treatment Side Effects

TLDR: Cancer treatment side effects that can have a negative impact on your life during your treatments can include hair loss, fever, depression, seizures, anxiety, weakness, fatigue, infections, blood clots, constipation and shortness of breath. Working closely with your health care providers and taking extra good care of yourself through rest, healthy eating, exercise and steering clear of sick friends and family can help you manage the side effects.

Cancer Treatment Side Effects

Dealing with cancer is something that no one wishes for anyone. However, in the unfortunate event that you or someone you know is diagnosed with cancer undergoing some sort of treatment will almost be mandatory. One of the most common treatments available for cancer is chemotherapy. While it is known for being highly effective at curing cancer, there are also a lot of side effects that come with the treatment.

To help those dealing with cancer become more educated about the potential side effects of cancer treatment, we’re going to provide you with a detailed breakdown of all the most common side effects that you can expect to encounter when going through treatment.

Make sure that you read this entire article in full so that you will be able to understand all of the potential side effects cancer treatments can cause.

Side Effects of Radiation and Cancer Treatment 

Cancer treatment comes with many different side effects, however, the exact side effects that you experience will vary based on the specific treatment your doctor prescribed for you. Treatment options such as radiation and chemotherapy have been proven to increase the risk of developing cancer later in life in certain individuals.

The most common Cancer Treatment Side Effects are:

  • Hair Loss 
  • Fever 
  • Depression 
  • Seizures 
  • Anxiety 
  • Weakness & Fatigue 
  • Infections 
  • Blood Clots 
  • Constipation 
  • Shortness of Breath 

Radiation in cancer treatment side effects can become visible in a short amount of time or they may begin to develop as your treatment progresses. Many new cancer treatments are being developed and released on a regular basis. Many people get excited when they hear about new cancer treatment options, however, it’s important to take into consideration all of the potential side effects that can occur before you try any procedure.

Since there are multiple types of cancer, it’s important to select a treatment method that has been proven to work for specific cancer you’ve been diagnosed with. Treatment is what happens after being diagnosed with cancer, when you’re first diagnosed it can be quite overwhelming.

Luckily, there are some steps that you can follow after your cancer and radiation treatments to help you get through it and recover more quickly.

Dealing with Radiation and Cancer Treatment Side Effects

Due to the widespread nature of cancer as a known disease, there are several resources available for those who are dealing with the adverse side effects of treatment. Dealing with the after-effects of any sort of cancer treatment can be debilitating on the mind and body which is why having the ability to use other people’s previous experience as it relates to dealing with after-treatment. 

One thing that you should always take into consideration when undergoing any type of cancer treatment is nutrition. Making sure that you are hydrated and well-nourished is the best way to increase your odds of winning the battle against cancer. You should prioritize eating healthy foods while undergoing cancer treatment to help your body’s natural defenses become stronger. 

Final Thoughts on Cancer Treatment Side Effects

All of the tips and information that we’ve given you in this article can be used to help you better manage any negative side effects that you may experience after receiving cancer treatment. As long as you remain positive throughout the entire process, you can make it through the negative side effects of cancer treatment.

Remember that knowledge is power and it can help you overcome many obstacles in life. 

People Also Ask:

How long after cancer treatment is your immune system compromised?

Your immune system will be compromised during your cancer treatment and for at least 21 to 28 days after your treatments have ended. The length of this recovery period depends on what your cancer treatment is, how long it lasts, your age, your overall health, and other medical conditions you may have. During this time make sure to take extra good care of yourself by eating well, resting, exercising, reducing your stress and avoiding contact with anyone that may be ill. 

How can I boost my immune system to fight cancer?

You can boost your immune system to fight cancer by getting a good nights sleep every night, eating a balanced and healthy diet, exercising regularly, managing stress and avoiding contact with anyone that may be sick. 

Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

What is Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment?

Immunotherapy, or biological therapy, is a form of cancer treatment that uses the power of the body’s own immune system to control, eliminate, and prevent cancer. In the last few decades immunotherapy has become an integral part of treating certain types of cancer. Immunotherapy cancer treatment has been approved in the US and elsewhere as the first line of treatment for several types of cancers. It can also be used along with standard treatments, or for patients whose bodies have been resistant to prior treatments.

The Role of the Immune System

To understand how immunotherapy works, you must understand how your body’s immune system works. Your body’s immune system is a group of organs, special cells, and substances that help protect you from infection and disease. It also protects you from cancer to a certain extent. Any new substance in the body that the immune system does not recognize will raise an alarm. This alarm will cause the immune system to attack anything containing foreign substance including viruses, bacteria, and even cancer. The body sometimes struggles to recognize and destroy cancer cells because they begin as normal, healthy cells. Cancer forms when normal cells change and start to grow out of control.

Cancer Occurs for the Following Reasons:

    • The immune system does not see the cancer cells as foreign because the cells are not different enough from normal cells.
    • The immune system recognizes the cancer cells, but the response is not strong enough to destroy cancer.
    • Cancer cells give off substances that keep the immune system from finding and attacking them.

How Immunotherapy Works

Immunotherapy works in one of two ways. The first is by increasing the immune system’s natural ability to defend itself. This will aid the immune system in working smarter or harder in fighting and attacking cancer cells.
The second-way immunotherapy works are by using substances created in a lab that is identical to immune system components. These substances are used to restore the immune system or improve how your immune system works to find and attack cancer cells.

Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

Common Types of Immunotherapy

Checkpoint inhibitors- These work by disrupting the cancer cell’s signals, which then exposes them to the immune system for an attack. Immune cells can usually differentiate healthy cells from intruders, however, at certain checkpoints the cancer cells send out a special signal to the immune cells. This signal tricks them into thinking they are normal cells. A checkpoint inhibitor will block that signal and expose the cancer cell for attack by the immune system.

Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR)-T-Cell therapy- This therapy involves mixing T-cells from a patients’ blood with a special virus. This virus teaches the T-cells to attach to tumors. The T-cells are then returned to the patient’s body so they can locate, attach to, and kill cancer.

Cytokines- This treatment uses cytokines, which are small proteins that carry messages between cells. The cytokines stimulate immune cells to attack cancer cells. During this treatment, cytokines are synthesized in the lab and injected in much larger doses than the body would normally produce.

Immunomodulators- Certain types of cancer are treated with this drug by boosting part of the immune system. These drugs work in many ways, including telling the immune system to turn up certain proteins and to turn down others.

Cancer Vaccines- A substance put into the body to start an immune response to certain types of cancer. This type of treatment can be given to prevent or treat certain types of cancer. Some vaccines are injections, while some are a re-infusion of the patients’ enriched blood. Research on cancer vaccines is in the early stages and is mainly only available through clinical trials.

Monoclonal Antibodies- These are the man-made version of the immune system’s proteins. They can be designed to attach to specific proteins on cancer cells. This flags the cell so that the immune system can find and destroy cancer. This treatment may also work by blocking a receptor found on cancer cells that is important to their growth.

Oncolytic Viruses- This treatment uses viruses that have been modified in a lab to infect and kill certain tumor cells. These viruses reproduce efficiently in cancer cells without harming healthy cells. When a virus infects a tumor cell, the virus makes copies of itself until the cell bursts. The dying cancer cell then releases materials that allow it to be recognized by the immune system. Some examples of the viruses being used in the study of this type of therapy include poliovirus and the herpes simplex virus.

Radioimmunotherapy- This therapy combines a monoclonal antibody and a radiation source. This delivers radiation directly to the specific tumor cells, but often in lower doses and over a longer period of time.

What Types of Cancers Does Immunotherapy Treat?

As of December 2019, the FDA has approved immunotherapy treatment for nearly 20 forms of cancer, as well as some forms of mutated cancers. Continued studies and clinical trials are currently taking place with the goal of discovering more ways to use immunotherapy to treat additional types of cancer. Immunotherapy is more effective for certain types of cancers than others. It is used alone for some of these cancers, but for other types, it works best when used along with other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. A cancer diagnosis can be devastating, however, thanks to the great strides being made by modern medicine, immunotherapy can help many people in their battle against it.

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Resource Center 
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2625 N Craycroft Rd, Suite 215, Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: 520-324-2840
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Phone: 520-877-9038
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Phone: 520-625-6600
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